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Thursday 1 June 2023 Dublin: 14°C
PSNI handout Mark Lovell
# mark lovell
£20,000 reward offered for information on “ruthless execution” in Newry, Co Down
Police are investigating if there is a ‘cross border, organised crime’ element to what they called a ‘brutal and senseless attack on a defenceless man’.

A £20,000 REWARD has been offered for information in relation to what’s been described an “execution” in Newry, Co Down.

58-year-old Mark Lovell was shot a number of times at close range while inside his car, close to his home in Ardcarn Park, Newry.

Police in the North are investigating if there is a “cross border, organised crime” element to what they called a “brutal and senseless attack on a defenceless man”.

While Superintendent Norman Haslett, District Commander in charge of Newry, Mourne and Down District, confirmed last week that Lovell had been targeted in a shooting in Dundalk in late October.

He added that the PSNI is investigating a cross border element to the shooting.

“The subject of a cross border, organised crime group feud is something that we will be looking at as a line of investigation at this stage,” said Haslett.

He added that a cross border drugs trade “will be an element of the activity that we are looking at, but not the only element”.

The reward is backed by the charity Crimestoppers, who are independent from the police.

The reward is for information the charity exclusively receives that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Lovell’s murder.

PSNI Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell said: “Mark was a husband and a father, and this callous murder has left a family bereft, and indeed an entire community in shock.

“It was a particularly ruthless execution. We believe those responsible planned and lay in wait for their victim before opening fire.

“The attack took place just after 6pm on Thursday 1 December. This was a time when people would have been coming home from work, and when families would have been out and about.

“Anyone – any child, neighbour or passer-by – could all too easily have been seriously injured or killed.”

Detective Chief Inspector Caldwell added: “I understand that people may be afraid to speak up, but please be assured that information can be given anonymously. Crimestoppers will never ask for or store any of your personal details.”

Speaking last week, Superintendent Haslett acknowledged that there is a “tangible fear and concern” in the area and confirmed that the police presence in the area will be enhanced.

There have been a number of violent incidents in the area in recent months, including acid and hatchet attacks.

While Superintendent Haslett told reporters “the investigation is at an early stage”, he said a “line of inquiry” is that these incidents are connected.

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